With the end of Family Night tonight at Soldier Field, the Chicago Bears have completed their first week of 2010 training camp.
After the first week, teams are now in the groove of things, and more importantly the drills get even harder.
Players, coaches, and team personnel know it’s only a matter of weeks until the NFL season is kicked off.
Let’s recap the first week of camp for the Chicago Bears.
Isaac Bruce will Provide Influence
The Bears brought in former Rams receiver Isaac Bruce to mentor and somewhat teach the wide receivers.
Bruce was once part of Mike Martz’s “Greatest Show on Turf” and certainly can help wide receivers like Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, and the rest of the gang.
Although the Bears don’t have a 1,000 yard receiver on the roster, like Bruce has done eight times in his career, the future looks bright for the young and talented core.
Bruce had it all, speed, awareness, and the hands to be a great receiver. This core of receivers has a mixture of that, it just needs to come together.
Position Battles Gaining Steam
There are a few position battles going on during training camp, and all getting more excited each day.
Knox and Hester are looking like the favorites to be the starting receivers, but don’t count out Earl Bennett or Devin Aromashodu, just yet.
Bennett and Aromashodu have both had reps with the first team in camp, and will look to push Hester and Knox to the limit. That is if they are the starters.
While Rashied Davis is more likely to play a bigger role on special teams, injured receiver Juaquin Iglesias hasn’t practiced in the past five days.
Another battle heating up is the outside linebacker battle between Nick Roach and Pisa Tinoisamoa. Both players are sharing time with the first team defense but from what I’ve seen so far, Tinoisamoa has a slight edge.
This is going to be a fun battle to watch, and don’t count Roach out yet. Roach played a lot last season because of the injury to Tinoisamoa. So the experience is there, it’s just now time to show it in preseason.
Offensive line still shaking up
After a horrible 2009 season, the offensive line is a key position for the Bears to address in training camp.
Positions are still open, even with center Olin Kreutz and left tackle Chris Williams solidifying their spots. This camp has seen multiple combinations, including a shake up on Family Night. Roberto Garza practiced at left guard and Lance Louis at right guard.
Frank Omiyale had a bad season last year, and it hasn’t looked good for him in training camp so far. Omiyale needs to have a strong preseason in order to make the starting lineup.
Injuries are Piling Up
Some key players have gone down for the Bears in the first week, something coach Lovie Smith would like to see a lot less of.
The Bears lost two safeties, Major Wright and Chris Harris, to minor injuries, but a concern is there. Especially when safety was a spot the Bears have to be better at this season.
Harris is expected to start this season, and Wright is a candidate to start opposite of Harris. If Wright can’t get back to the practice field, he could see that chance slip away.
Rookie running back Harvey Unga is out with a hamstring injury, as it looks to be more serious than previously thought. Unga could provide a serviceable backup to Matt Forte and Chester Taylor, assuming he is healthy.
Bears host annual Family Night
The Bears hosted their annual Family Night Friday night, where they practice at Soldier Field in front of fans. Brian Urlacher got the loudest cheers, it was his first time playing at Soldier Field since last seasons preseason.
Chris Harris returned to practice for the first time Friday night. Although Tight End, Kellen Davis did not participate.
The Bears open up their 2010 preseason campaign August 14th, at San Diego.